Saturday Headlines

U.S. Is Having Difficulty With Its Allies
For decades the U.S. has made friendly allies a central part of its national security strategy. But, the Carnegie Endowment for Peace’s Richard Sokolsky and the Brookings Institution’s Jeremy Shapiro say that it doesn’t seem to be working out that well, as U.S. allies seem increasingly less willing and capable of contributing to common goals.

In part, it is a problem of America’s own making because “U.S. capacity-building efforts infantilized rather than empowered our allies, especially the European and Arab states, creating a level of dependency that, at least until very recently, stifled independence” and that was compounded by the U.S. demanding little accountability from their allies.

They argue that as unappealing as it may be, the U.S. cannot afford to disengage from the world any more than it can take on every battle. Rather, despite the cost to the U.S. of training and equipping foreign partners, “it would be far more expensive to engage American forces directly. And the costs to America’s reputation, credibility, and prestige are greater when U.S. forces fail to achieve their mission than is the case when foreign partners fail.”

FIFA Is The Sports Version Of The United Nations
The Hoover Institution’s Tunku Varadarajan sees a striking comparison between how FIFA and the United Nations conducts business and apportions power.

“Like the U.N. General Assembly, it gives each country the same voting power. This gives the appearance of global harmony and democracy. But in practice it has allowed Mr. [Sepp] Blatter, a Swiss national, to assemble what amounts to a majority coalition of representatives or governments in Latin America, Africa, and the rest of the Third World,” he writes in The Wall Street Journal.

World Health Organization Adopts Reforms In Wake Of Ebola Crisis
Opening the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for serious reform in the wake of the World Health Organization’s poor emergency response to the ebola outbreak.

She added that  the upcoming G-7 summit will address WHO reform, as well as poverty-related tropical diseases and antibiotic resistance.

On May 23, the delegates at the WHA voted to give WHO authority to implement reforms that had been announced on May 21 by WHO Director-General Margaret Chan.

Nellie Bristol of the Global Health Policy Center outlined those proposals, which include forming a single new program for health emergencies that would unite all outbreak and response resources from the country, regional, and global level.

When Does An Armed Conflict Actually End?
Last week, President Barack Obama declared that it was the first Memorial Day when there was no active conflict in Afghanistan, which has raised a question that Nathalie Weizmann of Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute attempts to answer – what is the difference between the end of armed hostilities and the end of armed conflict?

 

 

 

 

 

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